As a director, you’ve been there… you’ve got a brilliant film idea in your head. But when you try and tell some friends about it, their eyes seem to glaze over.
Now, you could have a bad film idea… or your verbal communication skills sucks. After all, you’re a filmmaker, not a public speaker.
Or you have a fleshed out film idea, but not tons of budget for the project. How do you get folks excited like you are about this short film passion project?
That’s where the idea of a short film treatment helped me immensely over the past few years.
I started my film with a short film treatment.
That’s how I started ‘Today You, Tomorrow Me,’ my recent short film. I started the project by putting together a short film treatment.
Take a look at the short film here:
Now, check out the treatment I created for Today You, Tomorrow Me here:
*A treatment is a document the director puts together that sums up the film idea before the script is written in it’s entirety. A treatment will include more information than a simple outline, and typically breakdown key moments in the story.
Personally, I love to create treatments as a ‘tool’ to flesh out my ideas and get people on board . You have a chance to showcase the look and feel of your film using images and words instead of a boring white page. By thinking through the different details and even crafting the ‘style’ of fonts and images, you can capture your vision.
Another big reason treatments can be effective are getting folks involved. When someone sends me a 10-page script, usually I won’t read it unless it’s someone I know and respect.
If someone sends me a treatment though, I’ll skim it right away. If I like what I see I’ll beg to see a script.
Using the short film treatment to build excitement.
This was my experience with Today You, Tomorrow Me . The treatment was the tool I used to get folks involved. I sent it to DPs, producers, and actors and got feedback quick.
It attracted and helped give direction for the mood of the film. It also brought credibility to the project and a clear vision for what the project could look like.
There’s something about getting people pulled in and exciting. More importantly, this short film treatment also got me focused and excited. I’m not a traditional ‘writer.’ By mixing visuals, style, and text it gets me much more excited about the project in front of me. As a director I love getting to balance the different tools to storytelling.
So give the film another watch and take a look at the treatment afterwards. The film definitely evolved and changed throughout the process, but the treatment still mirrors the final result in a cool way.
Start your short film treatment TODAY!
Now, GO and start working on your treatment for your short. There isn’t any valid excuses for failing to create. “I don’t have money,” “I don’t have a crew,” “I don’t have a camera.” It doesn’t matter, you can tell put together your vision with some images and Google Power Point.
Draw out the main themes and give your story a bit of life. Send me your treatment, and I’ll definitely take a look. firstname.lastname@example.org